Books by Brett Ellen Block

Brett Ellen Block is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and the University of East Anglia's Fiction Writing Program in England. She won the Drue Heinz Literary Prize for her debut collection of stories, Destination Known, and is a recipient of the M

THE LIGHTNING RULE by Brett Ellen Block
Released: Nov. 1, 2006

"Many cuts above the typical police procedural."
Detective Martin Emmett investigates a gruesome murder that hints at something even more sinister. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2004

"Sort of a Polish-American Peyton Place: a touching portrait of childhood innocence on a collision course with worldly experience—though it ultimately goes far, far over the edge."
First novel about a young girl in a Pennsylvania mill town who grows up prematurely by discovering a family secret laid to rest years before. Read full book review >
DESTINATION KNOWN by Brett Ellen Block
Released: Oct. 30, 2001

"With much of the gloom but a shade less doom than the hard-bitten noir fiction these stories resemble, the moodiness, and pervasive sense of a generation at odds with its future, make Block a writer worth watching."
Winner of this year's Drue Heinz Prize for short fiction, Block's strong debut collection of a dozen stories offers a world on wheels, full of random encounters and uncertain outcomes, all filtered through working-class sensibilities. In the title piece, a woman ill-at-ease in a new city after breaking up with her boyfriend watches from her car as someone smashes into a vehicle parked near her. She gives chase, overtaking the car-basher only to find another woman more confused than she. A young guy living in a boardinghouse in his hometown, car- and jobless, gets a lift and a hand from an older man down the hall to go home and put up new wallpaper for his mother, in "Edith Drogan's Uncle Is Dead," but he has to relive some painful memories and listen to a sad story from his coworker before they're through. The protagonist of "In the City of the Living" is off to college in Memphis, escaping the Outer Banks island where he was raised, but the friend he's hitching a ride with, and his friend's brother—losers both—turn the trip from a promising fresh start into something destined to drag everybody down. Read full book review >